The Video Game History Foundation has found and preserved the original NES version of SimCity. Frank Cifaldi, who is known for his work with Digital Eclipse and is the VGHF founder, made the announcement on December 25, 2018. This means that people can not only learn more about the game, but also test out the SimCity NES prototype ROM after grabbing it from the Internet Archive.
As noted by Cifaldi, the NES version of SimCity was announced and did even appear at 1991 Winter Consumer Electronics Show, but was eventually canceled. The prototype cartridge appeared at the 2017 Portland Retro Gaming Expo, and the VGHF was able to digitize that version, then eventually spend time looking into it, after the event. As a result of that time and effort, it has been chronicled in Cifaldi’s article and preserved.
Here is a video showcasing SimCity NES prototype gameplay.
The SNES version of SimCity arrived in Japan and North America in 1991 and in Europe in 1992.